The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria. The main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb just north of the Melbourne CBD. The university also has several other campuses located across Victoria. It is a member of Australia’s “Group of Eight” lobby group, the Universitas 21 and Association of Pacific Rim Universities networks. It is colloquially known as a sandstone university and has one of the largest financial endowments of any Australian university, standing at $1.173 billion as of 2010.
The University of Melbourne consistently ranks among the best universities in Australia and the world, especially in the biological and health sciences. The university has been placed top in Australia and 37th in the world by the Times Higher Education 2011-2012 rankings of the world’s top 400 universities.
In Australia, Melbourne University is the second largest research organisation after the CSIRO. In 2010, it spent $767.5m on research and has consistently ranked first or second on the major national research indicators which are used by the Australian Government to allocate public funds for research and training infrastructure.
The university has over 35,000 students, who are supported by just over 7,300 staff members. In 2008, it introduced the controversial “Melbourne Model”, a combination of various practices from American and European universities, aimed at consistency with the European Union’s “Bologna process” and international relevance and standing for its degrees.
The university student life is reflected by the variety of clubs and services funded by the University of Melbourne Student Union. Student extracurricular activities generally come under the loose umbrella of the University of Melbourne Student Union, student sporting activities under the Sports Union, and postgraduate students at University of Melbourne Graduate Student Association (a member of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations).
The University of Melbourne has produced many notable alumni, with graduates having held the offices of Prime Ministers of Australia, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Governor-General, Attorney-General, Governor of Victoria, High Court Justices, State Premiers, Nobel Laureates, a First Lady of East Timor, ministers of foreign countries, Lord Mayors, academics, architects, historians, poets, philosophers, politicians, scientists, physicists, authors, industry leaders, Defence Force generals, corporate leaders and artists.
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